The adrenaline-infused, heavy-metal, punk sound of The Ongoing Concept has certainly been altered since the band’s 2010 inception. The quartet have distinguished themselves by incorporating folk instruments such as banjos, mandolins, and ukuleles into their raucous, screamo, creative song repertoire. Songs such as “Cover Girl” feature an organic intro with stomps, claps, and a banjo jam. This is still the band’s ultimate goal, but the approach is slightly different on their 2015 effort Handmade. Building all the wooden instruments from scratch for this release (hence the name), it provides an entirely different facet for the ensemble.
Handmade (2015): 10 songs, 31 minutes
Busy in the studio every two years, August Burns Red reconvened in 2015 with Found in Far Away Places, their sixth full-length record since the band’s inception in 2003. Unsurprisingly, their sixth LP builds from the foundation of their fifth record, Rescue & Restore, which aimed to create an alternate take on the complacent metalcore genre. Likewise, Found in Far Away Places makes this quest its manifesto as well, but whereas Rescue & Restore might have managed to fool casual listeners into thinking it was just another metalcore album with singles like “Fault Line” and “Spirit Breaker,” the banjo breakdowns and surf-rock inspired sections included in Found in Far Away Places cause listeners to do a double-take: “Wait, this is August Burns Red I’m listening to, right?” Yes, indeed, my metalhead friend.
Found in Far Away Places [Deluxe Version] (2015): 14 songs, 65 minutes
Constable Davis sat down to read. He often did this during his recovery from his encounter with Mrs. Hartley. It was about eight thirty in the evening, his typical time for leisure reading. He picked up the book he had been slowly chipping away at for the past couple weeks entitled The South-Side Window. It consisted of a modern-day mystery about a series of crimes committed using a window on the south side of the house in question as a means of entrance. This particular book fascinated him, as he loved a well-written mystery as much as anyone.
In fact, he was so engrossed in the literature that he failed to notice a slight creak as the south window of his apartment opened and a mysterious figure entered into the dwelling.
Returning in 2013 with yet another progressive effort, August Burns Red have certainly made progress with Rescue & Restore. The metalcore quintet’s fifth full-length offering is as technically advanced as it is thick with thought-provoking themes. Though only hinting at their goal to create a new style on 2011’s Leveler, Rescue & Restore delivers on that promise.